While Whistler may be one of the constants on the EWS circuit, the race here is anything but. Each year it twists and changes, so what riders loved/hated (delete as appropriate) last year may well be amplified or excluded. In 2014 the race was dubbed "Crankzilla" as the sheer volume of vertical metres to climb proved one of the toughest tests ever seen during the four years of the EWS. Last year it swung the other way with long stages, lots of lift access and huge smiles all round from throughout the field. This year the race is somewhere in the middle. There is some more pedalling than last year and the stages are, on the whole, shorter. The race opens with a long bike park stage, then to Crazy Train a seven minute menace that featured in 2014, followed by two new, short stages, then up to Top of the World for the traditional 20 minute final stage to settle all bets.




Black Tusk and lucky cairns. The views are breath taking and the stages are sublime.
Black Tusk and lucky cairns. The views are breathtaking and the stages are sublime.

The higher you get....
The higher you get....

Cous Cous and Mick Hannah take in the views before dropping in.
Cous Cous and Mick Hannah take in the views before dropping in.

Welcome back Juzzo
Welcome back Juzzo!

She may not be running at her former pace but ACC has been sending it here in Whsitler taking on lines as burly as most of the top men.
She may not be running at her former pace, but ACC has been sending it here in Whsitler, taking on lines as burly as most of the top men.

An oasis of calm on the other side of the valley from the burly race course at the Top of the World.
An oasis of calm on the other side of the valley from the burly race course at the Top of the World.

Raewynn Morrison is looking fast here in Whistler.
Raewynn Morrison is looking fast here in Whistler.

Casey Brown has started what will be a very busy week and a half. Brown has been riding the 29r Slash will the big wheels and local knowledge mean another EWS podium
Casey Brown has started what will be a very busy week and a half. Brown has been riding the 29r Slash, will the big wheels and local knowledge mean another EWS podium?

All indications point to a healthy Richie Rude but you never really know when it comes to shoulder injuries. If fully healthy last years winner and dominant force of the 2016 season might just leave everyone in his dust once again.
All indications point to a healthy Richie Rude, but you never really know when it comes to shoulder injuries. If fully healthy, last year's winner and dominant force of the 2016 season might just leave everyone in his dust once again.

Sam Blenkisop seems to be enjoying the steep and loose conditions here in Whistler. While adding to the fun and just out of view in this photo is his very new and yet unseen Norco 29er.
Sam Blenkinsop seems to be enjoying the steep and loose conditions here in Whistler. While adding to the fun, and just out of view in this photo is his very new and yet unseen Norco 29er.

After a win two weeks ago in colorado and with a track record that is almost dominating here in Whistler Jared Graves is certainly one of the heavy favorites this weekend.
After a win two weeks ago in Colorado, and with a track record that is almost dominating here in Whistler, Jared Graves is certainly one of the heavy favorites this weekend.

Seb Claquin s hand is still sore but he s not too down about it and is looking as pinned as ever.
Seb Claquin's hand is still sore, but he's not too down about it and is looking as pinned as ever.

Curtis Keene is on a bit of a hot streak at the moment and this weekend we are racing on what one could call his home turf. Curtis knows this mountain well and it has rewarded him in the past with his best ever EWS finish a 3rd in 2014. Could we see a repeat of history again this weekend
Curtis Keene is on a bit of a hot streak at the moment, and this weekend we are racing on what one could call his home turf. Curtis knows this mountain well and it has rewarded him in the past with his best ever EWS finish, a 3rd in 2014. Could we see a repeat of history again this weekend?

Nico Lau charging into his first lap on the iconic Top of the World. This race has always been won on the this stage question is who will have the legs at the end of a long day of racing
Nico Lau charging into his first lap on the iconic Top of the World. This race has always been won on the this stage, question is, who will have the legs at the end of a long day of racing?

Keegan Wright was maybe the only rider to try this line on Thursday - running high then hucking into a rock wall most people were wallriding on.
Keegan Wright was maybe the only rider to try this line on Thursday - running high then hucking into a rock wall most people were wallriding on.

Yoann has these trails burned into his data banks. Lets hope the wild man has a strong weekend.
Yoann has these trails burned into his data banks. Let's hope the wild man has a strong weekend.

With the sun blazing overhead and not a cloud in the sky it s not just the high temps riders will have to watch out for. The incredibly spotty light in the woods is also making it very hard to see the holes stumps and roots hidden just below the loamy surface of things.
With the sun blazing overhead and not a cloud in the sky, it's not just the high temps riders will have to watch out for. The incredibly spotty light in the woods is also making it very hard to see the holes, stumps, and roots hidden just below the loamy surface of things.

If you valued your money there is no way you would be betting against Cecile Ravenel right now. Once again looking on form and unstoppable here in Whistler.
If you valued your money, there is no way you would be betting against Cecile Ravenel right now. Once again looking on form and unstoppable here in Whistler.

Last year s Whistler EWS belonged to Josh Carlson. That is until a flat right out of the gate on the final stage saw his race lead evaporate in an instant. To say he is looking for redemption this weekend is an understatement.
Last year's Whistler EWS belonged to Josh Carlson. That is until a flat right out of the gate on the final stage saw his race lead evaporate in an instant. To say he is looking for redemption this weekend is an understatement.

Local young gun Spencer Wright could make a solid showing tomorrow. He is definitely one to watch.
Local young gun Spencer Wright could make a solid showing tomorrow. He is definitely one to watch.

Ruaridh Cunningham is one of the DH boys and girls who have come to play this weekend. While he is having the season of his life on the World Cup he frequently mixes it up at the very sharp end of things at enduro back home so he could be a dark horse this weekend.
Ruaridh Cunningham is one of the DH boys and girls who have come to play this weekend. While he is having the season of his life on the World Cup, he frequently mixes it up at the very sharp end of things at enduro back home, so he could be a dark horse this weekend.

Miranda Miller says she is finding it tricky transitioning between the big bike and the trail bike but after great results on the WC DH and EWS recently we re sure she ll be right in the mix on race day.
Miranda Miller says she is finding it tricky transitioning between the big bike and the trail bike, but after great results on the WC DH and EWS recently we're sure she'll be right in the mix on race day.

After being on the verge of big result last time out Chris Johnston and will be looking to get it done here at his adopted home race.
After being on the verge of big result last time out, Chris Johnston, and will be looking to get it done here at his (adopted) home race.


Anneke Beerten had a solid crash in Aspen that held her back. She is looking for better luck this weekend.
Anneke Beerten had a solid crash in Aspen that held her back. She is looking for better luck this weekend.

Sam Hill taking a Top of the World lap. Hill missed the Aspen round but will he pull off another top three here in Whistler
Sam Hill taking a Top of the World lap. Hill missed the Aspen round, but will he pull off another top three here in Whistler?

Aaron Bradford is back in EWS action once again after a bit of a hiatus that saw him focusing more on longer adventure style races.
Aaron Bradford is back in EWS action once again after a bit of a hiatus that saw him focusing more on longer adventure style races.

Innes Thoma drops into one of the many steep and dark chutes on stage one s Crazy Train .
Innes Thoma drops into one of the many steep and dark chutes on stage one's "Crazy Train".

Remy Absalon had his best finish in quite some time at the last round creeping back into the top 10. The long physical stages in Whistler should suit the fit Frenchman so he is certainly one to keep an eye on.
Remy Absalon had his best finish in quite some time at the last round,creeping back into the top 10. The long physical stages in Whistler should suit the fit Frenchman so he is certainly one to keep an eye on.

Roots. So many roots. And loam. This round is heaven on dirt.
Roots. So many roots. And loam. This round is heaven on dirt.

So much wonderful loam coats the forest floor on stages 2 3 and 4 held on the valley trails just off the Whistler Bike Park.
So much wonderful loam coats the forest floor on stages 2, 3, and 4 held on the valley trails just off the Whistler Bike Park.

Krunk Shox leaning her over in some powdery goodness.
Krunk Shox leaning her over in some powdery goodness.

Jerome Michael Jackson Clementz was trialling a few lines on the steeps at the top of stage two making them all look easy.
Jerome "Michael Jackson" Clementz was trialling a few lines on the steeps at the top of stage two, making them all look easy.

Justin Leov or J-Lo as his team have taken to calling him is back this weekend and although he says he is having to be careful with how much energy he spends he is enjoying every minute of being back.
Justin Leov, or J-Lo as his team have taken to calling him, is back this weekend and although he says he is having to be careful with how much energy he spends, he is enjoying every minute of being back.

Matt Stuttard is looking to build on his stage win in Aspen this weekend.
Matt Stuttard is looking to build on his stage win in Aspen this weekend.

Isabeau Courdurier is looking fast as ever.
Isabeau Courdurier is looking fast as ever.

Some of the local spectators are oblivious to the fact there is a race going on. This guy strolled out of the woods about 5 meters from me and decided to have a walk right down one of the fastest parts of stage 5.
Some of the local spectators are oblivious to the fact there is a race going on. This guy strolled out of the woods about 5 meters from me and decided to have a walk right down one of the fastest parts of stage 5.

Duncan Riffle is out doing a little Enduroing this weekend.
Duncan Riffle is out doing a little Enduroing this weekend.

Florian Nicolai seems happier this weekend. And a happy Flo usually means the podium should watch out.
Florian Nicolai seems happier this weekend. And a happy Flo usually means the podium should watch out.

Martin Maes tows in Brook MacDonald down the big rock slap on Crazy Train. Martin has come close to winning here in the past and if he can avoid some of the mechanical issues that have plagued him in previous years we fully expect to see him fighting for the win on every stage.
Martin Maes tows in Brook MacDonald down the big rock slap on Crazy Train. Martin has come close to winning here in the past, and if he can avoid some of the mechanical issues that have plagued him in previous years we fully expect to see him fighting for the win on every stage.

Thomas Lapeyrie has done well here in the past and is long overdue for the type of result we know he is capable of.
Thomas Lapeyrie has done well here in the past, and is long overdue for the type of result we know he is capable of.

Cody Kelley is another rider to have cracked the top 10 for the first time recently but unfortunately a crash in training and an injured wrist will make it very hard for a repeat performance here in Canada.
Cody Kelley is another rider to have cracked the top 10 for the first time recently, but unfortunately a crash in training and an injured wrist will make it very hard for a repeat performance here in Canada.

Vaea Veerbeek is another World Cup regular on the start list this weekend.
Canadian World Cup regular Vaea Veerbeek is another downhiller on the start list this weekend.

Killian Callaghan turning it down on stage three.
Killian Callaghan turning it down on stage three.

Damien Oton is still a danger man. Don t count the Frenchman out.
Damien Oton is still a danger man. Don't count the Frenchman out.

Robin Wallner is definitely a rider with the top ten in his sights this weekend.
Robin Wallner is definitely a rider with the top ten in his sights this weekend.

Marco Osborne is looking like his hand is well on the mend.
Marco Osborne is looking good in the technical sections of the track. The rough park trails are giving his hand a bit of trouble.

This is home turf for Jesse Melamed and he has top tenned here before and was close to even more in 2014. Watch him carefully this weekend as he will want to impress for the home crowd.
This is home turf for Jesse Melamed and he has top tenned here before and was close to even more in 2014. Watch him carefully this weekend as he will want to impress for the home crowd.

With every race Rachel Throop get a little more confident riding even the gnarliest of lines with authority.
With every race Rachel Throop get a little more confident, riding even the gnarliest of lines with authority.

Toni Ferreiro hasn t quite been able to recapture his form from the start of the season recently but he s still there or thereabouts each weekend so he could be a threat here in Whistler if he has a little better luck.
Toni Ferreiro hasn't quite been able to recapture his form from the start of the season recently, but he's still there or thereabouts each weekend, so he could be a threat here in Whistler if he has a little better luck.

Isabeau Courdurier will be taking aim at another podium here in Whistler.
Isabeau Courdurier will be taking aim at another podium here in Whistler.

Katy Winton found the fast way through the roots is clear over them.
Katy Winton found the fast way through the roots is clear over them.

The entertainment a five dollar T-Rex grabby hand will bring to a team is priceless. Team building at it s finest.
The entertainment a five dollar T-Rex grabby hand will bring to a team is priceless. Team building at it's finest.

It is a lovely view and as it marks the start of the final stage we re sure riders will be quite happy when they finally get to see in again tomorrow afternoon.
It is a lovely view, and as it marks the start of the final stage we're sure riders will be quite happy when they finally get to see in again tomorrow afternoon.


MENTIONS: @davetrump / @mdelorme / @mattwragg




28 Comments

  • 19 3
 29ers starting to take over with Blinki and Casey Brown, and who else this round??? Some lethal weapons out there now with the Slash, the Wreckoning, Mega 290, and apparently, a fern tree covered Norco the Blinkster is riding....

Go team cuzzy bro!!
  • 4 1
 Cody Kelley on the Yeti SB5.5c.
  • 2 0
 You didn't mention the Hightower Wink
  • 2 0
 CK is also on the new E29
  • 15 1
 Once again, a mind blowing great photo portfolio.. Been a few years since was last at Whistler, but seeing these pics has bought it so back to vivid memories... I want to ride Top of The World again..... Thank you Pinkbike
  • 12 0
 Graves v Hill showdown. Wish I was there!
  • 11 0
 Anyone else see the new Rocky Mountain Slayer? Wink cant wait for that bikes release.
  • 6 0
 I would give my left bollock to ride this today.
  • 14 1
 That's what Armstrong said about Alpe Du Huez
  • 4 0
 Awesome photos. Race may very well
Come down to attrition; who makes it through with no mechanicals
  • 5 0
 Awesome photos! May the race be close without mechanicals Smile
  • 3 0
 trust me it wont
  • 3 0
 King Kong having a sunbath on top of the mountain on Beerten and Hill's pics. Wink
  • 1 0
 Nice one!
  • 1 0
 Ha ha, great find!
  • 2 0
 Incredible work, as always. A question to the photographers: on avarage, how many photos do you have on your memory cards by the end of the day?
  • 3 0
 just got home from whistler and man was it beyond what those pictures are
  • 3 1
 I'm very interested to see whether or not the long stages favor the 29ers. 20 minute final stage? Dang!
  • 3 0
 Why dont they do the UCI world cup at Crankworx?
  • 1 0
 Well; I just lost most of the morning at work to ogling the amazing photographs in this article. Truly amazing photography, scenery, and riders -- I need to go and ride!
  • 3 0
 Thank you for the tour!
  • 1 1
 F me I should have taken the invite for the Saturday race after missing out on the EWS sign up. That looks mind bendingly good.
  • 2 0
 Go ACC...!!!

Richies left wrist?
  • 1 0
 Saw Keene and Graves in the liftline earlier this summer at Whistler! Wish I back there right now !
  • 2 0
 That course looks so perfect.
  • 3 1
 That black bear looked pretty content with the course layout.
  • 1 0
 Hell Yeah Bradford!! Sick shot
  • 2 1
 New Enduro !!!!

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